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  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    Professional Golf 2015: The Complete Media, Fan and Fantasy Guide
    by Daniel Wexler
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos

The golf architect, therefore, should look upon himself as an artist; and the colors of his palette are the various types of hazards which he employs to lend interest and bring out the features to holes which he either invents or interprets from the ground. MAX BEHR



Tilly Illustrated

tilly-illustration.jpgThe Tillinghast Society has launched a new online (PDF) journal devoted to all things Tilly.


WynDham Championship

What do you think? Nice rebranding eh?

First Davis Love, now Boo, Bubba, K.J. and Chris DiMarco WD to rest up for four weeks (if they should be so lucky) of studying points permutations and figuring out how to pay their caddy 10% of deferred compensation.  Joedy McCreary reports.


"Suddenly, he was Steve Martin giving a call to arms in 'Three Amigos:'"

Add Grant Boone to the list of those not quite grasping Woody Austin's various rants from last week's PGA press center:

And Austin is accurate when he suggests that he and lots of his peers have a similar desire to succeed, even if they can't back it up on the course as often as Woods.

Austin backed it up all week. He was the only player to shoot par or better each day. And despite beginning the final round four back of Woods, he actually had a birdie putt at 15 that would've pulled him even. It was only after a hard-fought 67 left him two shots short that Austin finally began to crack. First, he interrupted a reporter's observation that he'd been hard on himself earlier in the week because of missed opportunities:

"I was right, wasn't I?"

Whoa, big fella. After the reporter finished his question, Austin responded specifically to shooting a 70 in the second round to Woods' 63:

"Well, like I said on Friday, you cannot give somebody seven shots, especially someone who happens to be the best player in the world. And I, like I said, I went over his round and over my round, and I outplayed him from tee-to-green."

It was right here that you were telepathically giving Austin the same advice Brian Fantana gave Champ. "Why don't you stop talking for awhile? Maybe sit the next couple of plays out." But Austin kept going:

"I don't think anybody plays any better than I do when I'm on; I know that's crazy, but I think I can hit any shot anybody in the world can hit."

I was with him right up to the point that he talked about being crazy. Woody wasn't done:

"You give anybody who is really good a four-shot lead over you -- I beat him today, but it doesn't matter because he had four shots on me. So, you know, I don't care -- he happens to be the best player in the world, but if you put any great player, any good player with a four-shot cushion, their odds are going to be pretty good. Especially when they happen to be the best."

Suddenly, he was Steve Martin giving a call to arms in "Three Amigos:" "The people of Santo Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the actual El Guapo." And then came a little Yogi Berra from the AFLAC commercial:

"He always says -- what does he always say? He always says, 'I want to be in the last group on Sunday.' If he wants to be there, and I want to be, why do I not want to be there? Why would I want to be somewhere else?"

Beats me. And finally, like a punch-drunk fighter swinging wildly before the inevitable face plant into the canvas, Austin offered this:

"Well, you said in the media, especially on Friday, that he played just an unbelievable round of golf and that he was in total control and that he was just toying with the field. We can go through our rounds. I outplayed him on Friday, but he beat me by seven shots. So, does that mean he's that much better? I don't get it. It just happens that he scored better, and like I said on Friday, can you not throw away that many opportunities when you are trying to win a big golf tournament. He took advantage; I didn't. Does that mean he played better than me or he's better than me? I don't agree with that."



Is This Why Architects Should Not Be On Course Ranking Panels?

In this week's SI Golf Plus, a stand alone FedEx Cup playoff preview (not posted online), Michael Bamberger profiles architect Tom Doak's rise to prominence. For synergy purposes, included with the piece is a Doak assessments of each FedEx Cup playoff venue, including the TPC Boston, recently renovated by Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon.

Here's what Doak says:

I've never been there, and I'm not in a good place to judge it. It's an Arnold Palmer course, and his stuff is all over the map. Gil Hanse, who used to work for me, did the renovation work there. It's a weird relationship--I admire what he's doing, but I'm not going to be his biggest booster. I have to compete with him.

Of course Tom is welcome to feel whatever he likes and you have to admire his honesty, however, he seems to be implying that he doesn't want to say anything positive about a potential competitor.

And in light of the recent release of the Golf Magazine Top 100, I'm uncomfortable with the notion of Tom, one of 100 Golf panelists, evaluating Gil's work when he's openly stating that he does not want to promote his competition. Wouldn't this make him less likely to fairly evaluate the work of Hanse or anyone else he considers competition?

This seems to me to be example A for why architects in today's cuthroat business should not be allowed to vote on course ranking panels.


Picking Favorites and Riviera's 10th**

asset_upload_file444_2705.jpgTom Cunneff picks his nine favorite holes in golf. The piece also includes a link to Tom Doak's dicussion of Riviera's 10th, which I don't believe appeared online earlier this year. It's worth reading, and I say that not because I was included. Just a good read. also includes their 18 favorites with many killer photos. It was done in conjunction with the new Golf Magazine ranking. Lo and behold, Riviera's 10th made their list as the penultimate hole. Unfortunately they ran a photo of Riviera's 9th green in its place. 

**With working links now... 


"We could have one incredible event center on the 17th hole. Nobody has been looking at that."

Thanks to reader NRH for this C.W. Nevius column in the San Francisco Chronicle analyzing the fight for Lincoln Park and other San Francisco city courses.

Bo Links, one of the founders of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, says golfers are planning a march on the Board of Supervisors today. The issue is whether the city should study turning its money-losing golf courses into another kind of recreation facility, like soccer fields, or preserve the fairways and greens.

Guess which side the golfers are on.

"We're going to hitch up our britches and go to City Hall," Links says. "We're hoping to have over 100. And some of the guys are talking about bringing golf clubs."

This, of course, raises two questions:

First, what would you use to get up and down from the steps of City Hall? A lob wedge?

And second, in the midst of so many high-profile and contentious issues, how did the city's golf courses get to be such a hot topic?

That part is simple - the golf course debate has something for everyone.

For neighborhood activists, it is about empowerment. For golfers, it is populism. For Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, it's a labor issue. And fellow Supervisor Sean Elsbernd is talking about governmental red tape. McGoldrick is leery of letting a private firm manage the courses; Elsbernd thinks it could not only work, but make money.

Last Wednesday, the supervisors' Budget and Finance Committee met to consider McGoldrick's proposal to create a golf task force to conduct a three-year study of the "adaptive re-use" of the golf courses.

To the surprise of nearly everyone, the golfers showed up in force, some 50 strong. Richard Harris, another of the founders of the Golf Alliance, says the group made its point forcefully.

"You need professional management for the golf courses," he says. "What you don't need is another three-year study. That's asking to literally study it to death until the golf courses deteriorate so badly it isn't an issue."

"Even I was surprised," said Elsbernd. "What I really appreciated was watching the faces of those who thought this was going to be a walk in the park, so to speak."

In the face of that kind of response, it was decided not to send the proposal out of committee with a recommendation for a yes vote. And Monday, McGoldrick announced that he plans to make a motion to put the matter over until at least next month, meaning that it won't be voted on in today's meeting.

"Which has to be a victory on our part," says Elsbernd.

The golfers may have been slow to act, but they have been fired up by talk that some of the city's courses, like the neglected, but scenic, Lincoln Park, might be turned into a soccer field.

"Or BMX bike runs," says Isabel Wade, executive director of the Neighborhood Parks Council. "Or skate parks. We could have one incredible event center on the 17th hole. Nobody has been looking at that."
Oh dear. This is beautiful:
We'll pause here for a moment while the residents of those huge, expensive homes in Sea Cliff consider the implications of an event center around the corner from them. And that's not to mention the fact that any soccer pitch built on the hills and mounds of Lincoln Park would require players to use safety ropes to keep from sliding off the field.



"Even an idiot can't mess this up"

bildeTiger announced and new design in North Carolina Tuesday, and while I haven't seen many detailed articles, reader did find this video clip of the press conference where he refers to what "Perry" did at Southern Hills (so much for Mr. Maxwell!) and of course a proverbial it's "right in front of you" comment.

Pete Iacobelli writes:
Woods wants the scenic land to dictate the proposed layout and hopes the course give golfers a fair test and a chance to connect with nature. He visited the location earlier Tuesday and raved about the land.

"Even an idiot can't mess this up," he said. "I think I'm a little above that."

Woods took his time before launching his design business, he said, because he wanted a feel for what makes the best courses by playing the top layouts from around the world.

He said he likes layouts where golfers can the hole ahead of them along with well-placed bunkers that require careful shot selection.

Woods described himself as a "minimalist" designer and repeatedly said he didn't expect to move a lot of dirt during construction.

Woods and The Cliffs' owner Jim Anthony said they wanted High Carolina to be a walking-only course during the news conference. Afterward, Woods clarified they'll "strongly encourage" golfers to walk, but won't require it.

Anthony had Woods' drawings of a proposed golf course he mapped out at age 11. "I don't believe there's any golfer that has more desire," Anthony said. "He takes us to another level."

Woods' company took on a project in Dubai for his first course. He expects to gradually grow his golf design business, selecting projects that fit within his crowded schedule as a competitor and father.

"I'd be mightily disappointed if both were not Open sites by 2020 or 2021."

maar01_tarde.jpgJerry Tarde devotes his September editor's letter to previewing the Erin Hills v. Chambers Bay spread and shares this:

Erin Hills is featured in this issue along with Chambers Bay as two spectacular, new public courses that are being considered as U.S. Open venues (see "Erin Hills vs. Chambers Bay"). Says one highly placed USGA insider: "I'd be mightily disappointed if both were not Open sites by 2020 or 2021."

Well, good to know where the Executive Director stands! 


"He's comfortable with his game again"

Jaime Diaz not only shares several of Tiger's technical adjustments that led to his wins at Firestone and Southern Hills, but also looks at the possibility of an Ernie Els resurgence, offering this from his agent:

"I think Ernie is really back to his old self," said his agent, Chubby Chandler. "He's much more relaxed, and he's comfortable with his game again. He's settling back when he's out to dinner, having a glass of wine, laughing and getting back to who he really is. And he's not got Tiger on his mind. He's getting a bit more chilled out. He's not getting in his own way."




Fields On Woody

I prefer to read Bill Fields's lengthy essays in print, but I couldn't help sneaking a peak at his Southern Hills piece and mercifully, he called Woody Austin on some of the more bizzarre assertions from his press conferences.

Austin reiterated the notion of a double standard regarding Woods when it comes to more mundane slams of club to turf. "That's his 'competitive fire,' is what it's called," Austin said. "He's 'competitive,' he is 'aggressive.' I do that, I am a 'loose cannon.' I 'can't control' myself. I'm not competitive? It's like I'm not good enough to get mad. He's good enough to get angry all the time? Why can he get mad more than me, but it's competitive fire as opposed to somebody who is too hard on themselves? I don't get it."

The topic of Woods crept into much of what Austin had to say last week, but parts of his critique made more sense than others. Austin insisted repeatedly, for instance, that he had outplayed Woods in the second round even though the world No. 1 shot a 63 to his 70. "I watched [his round on TV]," Austin said, "and I had it inside him all day long. I outplayed him by at least four or five shots, and he beat me by seven."

That is a cockeyed view because golf is not only a gauge of ball-striking skills but also of how capably good shots can be converted into birdies. Austin must know that, but his view is jaundiced by his history as an above-average player until he gets a putter in his hand. "I'm a very nervous person, I have a lot of nervous energy, and it shows [when I putt]," Austin admitted. "It's very hard to make a putting stroke when you're real nervous; it's a lot easier to make a golf swing when you're real nervous as opposed to putting."



Coming Attractions: Scotland

article2.12.jpgGolf International's David Brice looks at the recent and forthcoming new course designs in Scotland.


They Don't Call Him The Shark For Nothing!

Daphne Duret reports on the latest Norman divorce antics that ought to really help wine sales with the married female demo. Thanks to reader Steven T. for this:
What months ago was characterized as a nearly resolved divorce settlement between golf great Greg Norman and his wife, Laura, has now turned into the most contentious aspect of their split to date - one that has Laura Norman accusing Greg of changing the locks to the couple's Jupiter Island home and cutting off her credit cards.

According to paperwork filed by Laura's attorneys Monday, the tactics are all part of an attempt to "coerce" their client into signing a marital settlement agreement both parties referenced before Judge Lawrence Mirman in June.
Back then, they announced that they had settled all but one issue - a potential IRS tax liability from Greg's jet - in their yearlong divorce battle.

The couple's attorneys have since failed to get both Greg and Laura's signatures on several drafts of settlement terms, and Greg has cut off her access to credit cards which were Laura's only way to pay daily living expenses.

"She now has no means of support," her attorneys wrote.

Greg Norman's attorneys last week filed paperwork asking a judge to compel Laura Norman to sign the latest of these "term sheets," but Laura's attorneys in their motion Monday said the only reason Laura hasn't signed the papers is because Greg has altered and expanded the terms.

Laura says Greg, who in the golf world in nicknamed "The Great White Shark," has also refused to pay her attorneys' fees and "is attempting to starve (her) out so she has no choice but to surrender to his positions," Laura's attorneys Jack Scarola and Russell J. Ferraro wrote.

Greg's lawyers, in a letter to Scarola, said he has already paid them about $725,000 to fund the litigation, including a half-million dollar payout in April. The money, according to Laura's lawyers, has been used to pay attorneys' fees and hire a number of expert witnesses who pored over the couple's finances to come up with the settlement.

Attempts by Laura's lawyers to get more money was met earlier this month with a refusal from New York attorney Howard Sharfstein, part of Greg's legal team. In addition, according to Laura's lawyers, Greg fired the couple's housekeeper and changed the locks on their $21 million Jupiter Island estate.

Laura's attorneys said she never previously asked for alimony because she had been using credit cards from Great White Shark Enterprises, one of Greg's companies, but she is now asking Mirman to force Greg to pay until the divorce is final.

Greg's attorney Martin L. Haines last month said that he was eager to give Laura a huge payout that is a part of the settlement, but refused to do so until she signed the papers.

Sharfstein offered only one way out in a letter dated Aug. 6: "An expedited execution of the marital agreement will put into your client's hands more than sufficient funds to meet all of her obligations," Sharfstein wrote.

Attorneys for the Normans could not be reached for comment Monday.

Greg Norman, whose net worth has been estimated at half a billion dollars, filed for divorce in the summer of last year to end the couple's 25-year marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.

Ed Seay R.I.P.

One of the game's great characters has left us...

Golf Course Architect Ed Seay Dies at Age 69
ASGCA Past President and Winner of ASGCA Distinguished Service Award
Was Design Partner to Arnold Palmer for 35 Years
Ed Seay, a past president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, died August 14, 2007 at his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., after a long battle with cancer and related health problems.  He was 69.
Born in Dade City, Fla., Seay served as ASGCA president in 1976-1977 and was given the ASGCA Distinguished Service Award during the organization of golf course architects’ 2006 Annual Meeting. During a career that spanned five decades, he was responsible for nearly 300 new golf courses and more than two dozen golf course renovations, including Bay Hill Club. Most of his designs were created in partnership with golf legend and ASGCA Fellow Arnold Palmer, with whom Seay began working in 1972 and formed Palmer Course Design Company in 1979. Designing a golf course in Communist China in 1981, Seay was among the first American golf course architects to work outside the United States.
Among Seay’s representative golf courses are Sawgrass C.C., Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; The Tradition G.C., LaQuinta, Calif.; The K Club, Straffan, Ireland; Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica; Kapalua Village Course, Maui, Hawaii; Aviara, Carlsbad, Calif.; Old Tabby Links, Spring Island, S.C.; Tralee C.C., Tralee, Ireland; and Adios G.C. in Coconut Creek, Fla.
“ASGCA is saddened with the loss of Ed,” said President Steve Forrest, ASGCA.  “He was one of a kind as a person and did so much for the profession of golf course architecture.  For 40 years, he was one of ASGCA’s great leaders and contributed greatly to the growth and recognition of ASGCA.  He will be missed.”

A graduate of the University of Florida and a retired Commissioned Officer of the United States Marine Corps, Seay began his work in golf course architecture in 1964 near Pinehurst, N.C., where he worked for ASGCA Past President, Ellis Maples, a noted golf course architect Seay called one of the finest golf course architects ever knew.
Seay is survived by his wife, Lynn, and adult children Mason Seay and Tracy Raymond.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, August 18, at 10 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It will be followed by a reception at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, ASGCA members may make donations to the ASGCA Foundation, 125 N. Executive Dr., Suite 106, Brookfield, WI 53005. Others making donations are encouraged to donate to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, P.O. Box 37, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046.
More information on Mr. Seay’s career, as well as video clips of him discussing his work, is available at the ASGCA “Architects Gallery” on the internet. Simply visit and click on “Inside ASGCA” then “Architects Gallery.”


Huggan On Weir Selection

John Huggan is so excited about the President's Cup, he actually wrote about it and loves the International selection of Mike Weir, a Canadian who loves his country so much he lives in the predominantly Mormon province of...Utah.

Quoting Captain Gary Player:
"Mike, as we know, won the Masters and has been a very, very good player throughout the years, a very, very good match player," babbled Player, who clearly had no idea that he was talking about a man who, four up on the 15th tee, lost the last four holes to Australian Geoff Ogilvy in last year's World Match Play Championship at La Costa. "Mike is a terrific competitor, a real fighter."

Yet again, that assessment has little basis in reality and more to do with the diminutive Weir's lack of inches because, as we all know, every little guy (see Player himself) just has to be a "battler," especially in head-to-head match play. Then again, maybe not. The Canadian, it should be noted, has only once made it through more than one round in the aforementioned WGC Match Play, a record that hardly commends him as a "fighter" or a man to fear when holes, not strokes, really count.

Plus, the numbers don't lie. This year the former Masters champion has but two top-ten finishes in 19 PGA Tour starts, lies 84th on the money list and his statistics are off the charts.

Driving distance? 110th.
Driving accuracy? 89th.
Greens in regulation? 155th.
Putting? 64th.
Scoring average? 54th.
World ranking? 46th

Skins Game To Feature Four Players!

Twenty five years ago it was Nicklaus, Palmer, Watson and Player. And now... 


25th anniversary of the LG SKINS GAME to be played on new Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort

And what celebrities they have added alongside the one celebrity in the group, Fred Couples.

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (August 14, 2007) — LG SKINS GAME defending champion Stephen Ames, SKINS GAME legend Fred Couples, Masters champion Zach Johnson and long-hitting Brett Wetterich will form the field for the Silver Anniversary LG SKINS GAME to be played Thanksgiving weekend at the spectacular new Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort.
The announcement was made jointly by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), Trans World International (TWI), LG Electronics USA, Inc. and the City of Indian Wells.
The $1 million 2007 LG SKINS GAME will be produced by ESPN and broadcast on ABC in its customary Thanksgiving home: Saturday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 25. Nine holes will be aired Saturday from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (check\ local listings). This is the 17th year ABC has served as the U.S. broadcast home to the SKINS GAME.
“You have one of the hottest up-and-coming golfers in Zach Johnson, who everyone saw hold off Tiger Woods in the Masters, a member of last year’s Ryder Cup, Brett Wetterich, whose powerful long drives are fun to watch, our defending champion Stephen Ames and the most successful player in SKINS GAME history – Fred Couples,” said Barry Frank, vice chairman of IMG Media. “This field has something to offer both the devoted golf fan and the casual golf fan, and the vistas and challenges of the Celebrity Course simply add to the allure of our 25th LG SKINS GAME.”
Title Sponsor LG Electronics applauded the field for the 2007 LG SKINS GAME. “As LG Electronics proudly returns as sponsor of one of professional golf’s best-loved televised events, we are enthusiastic about this diverse and talented group of players that promises to deliver an exciting Thanksgiving weekend of world-class golf,” said Michael Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics North American Headquarters.
“Over the past 25 years, the LG SKINS GAME has become a Thanksgiving weekend institution,” said Tony Renaud, vice president of new business for ESPN. “We are thrilled to feature such an accomplished, yet diverse field that will not only celebrate the past 25 years, but add to the rich history of this very special golf event that families and golf fans have enjoyed.”

Wait, the pile-on isn't finished...

“Our exceptional resort city is delighted to play host to the LG SKINS GAME, and we’re very excited to showcase this famed event’s silver anniversary on our new Celebrity Course,” said City of Indian Wells Mayor Rob Bernheimer. “This promises to be a great year for the LG SKINS GAME and one that fans will not want to miss.” 
For sure. Oh you said will NOT want to miss. My bad.

Half Price Sale Starts Early In Greensboro!

They paid $525,000 to help secure this date? 

John Dell reports the stunning news that the last spot on the FedEx Cup schedule isn't all that the folks in Greensboro hoped it would be.

Mark Brazil, the tournament director, says that concession prices have been slashed in an effort to attract fans to Greensboro’s Forest Oaks Country Club for the four days of the tournament and its pro-ams.

“We want the fans to be able to have a great experience out here,” Brazil said. “I ran this idea past other tournament directors, and they said they just never had the guts to do this. But we are focusing on making this a better experience for the fans, even if we might lose a little money with concessions.”

The price for a beer has been cut from $4 to $3, and all Coca-Cola products, including bottled water, will be $1. Other concession prices have also been reduced, Brazil said.

So get them drunk!

The tournament is doing what it can to offset a lack of star power in the field. The Wyndham is the final regular-season tournament of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, and only the top 144 players in the points race advance to the playoffs, which will start next week.

There is no shortage of players hovering around the 144th spot on the points list, but those already secure for the playoffs are taking the week off. The Wyndham has a $5 million purse with $900,000 going to the winner, but the players are looking at the FedEx Cup points to be won as much as the money.

K.J. Choi, who is ranked 12th and won in Greensboro in 2005, pulled out of the tournament yesterday, citing fatigue. He was the highest-ranked player to have committed to the tournament.

Only two of the top 50 in the updated world rankings are in the field - Davis Love III, the defending champion and ranked 43rd, and Carl Pettersson, ranked 48th. Pettersson, a former player at N.C. State, lives near Raleigh and played his high-school golf at Greensboro Grimlsey.

Davis Love is playing because he's the defending champion and Carl Pettersson is in because it's his hometown event. Otherwise no one in the top 50 would be in to uh, jockey for more points.

I hate to belabor this, but it was noted here a year ago:

Of course, now that we know this final event before the FedEx Cup finale amounts to a shootout between spots 140-150 for those final places in the playoffs, and that it's before a stretch of four straight weeks of golf, is it really that great of a date?

Why would Tiger, Phil or Vijay or any other stars play Greensboro after playing the PGA/WGC Firestone and before the four-week stretch?


"I don't understand how it all works"

Thomas Bonk looks at the FedEx Cup and seems pretty sure Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will be skipping the Barclay's. And he featured this from Phil:

"I don't understand how it all works," he said. "And certainly there are some things that can be done in the coming years to make it better. But it's the first year and you're never going to have it perfect the first year. It's kind of an evolutionary thing."

Meanwhile Sam Weinman talks to Padraig Harrington who sounds like he is really pumped up about it too.

"I could use a break," Harrington said. "Ideally, we'd play the first two weeks and then a week off, and then the last one. For guys like me, this FedExCup gives me a chance, because if I get hot at the end of the year, I could win it. And four weeks off is not the end of the world. But with all that's gone on with me the last few weeks, I could use a break."


A Few Golf Magazine Thoughts

I'm not sure how many of you have received the Golf Magazine course ranking issue, but it did cause me to put the brakes on my normal power-flip through the mag. Which is good since I have gotten a few paper cuts lately trying to break my all time leaf through record of 63.6 seconds.

Well, besides the stuff I linked earlier, there were a few panelist sidebars describing their favorite courses, and other than ones from Larry Lambrecht and Masa Nishijima, these descriptions are not exactly packed architectural revelations.

Which brings me to a general thought about the list. While I still agree with it more than Golf Digest's, there is a sense that its panel is a bit behind the times, while Golf Digest, for all of its faults, seems to have a more active group out monitoring what's going on at our best courses.

That's not to say that I think heavy turnover on a list is a good thing, but we are living in a very exciting time with so many compelling new courses, cutting edge restorations and a newfound appreciation for many architectural elements. Looking at the Golf panel and the list it has produced, I just sense there is a lot of dead (star name) weight and an excess of conflict of interests holding back the enthusiasts from really putting together a list that highlights fun, interesting and timeless architecture.

But it's Joe Passov's first full list and if given the time and freedom, I suspect he'll put together a stronger panel.

This also caught my eye:

In 2007, we switched to a web-based system that allowed panelists to vote on a combined master list of 475 courses from around the world. Panelists can only vote for courses they've played. (On average each panelist has played 73 courses on the World Top 100 list.) From this master list, the top 100 point earners make up our Top 100 Courses in the World. The Top 100 in the U.S. are determined by taking U.S. courses from the World list, in order, and then rounding out the list with the remaining top point earners that did not make the World list.

The points break down as follows: Each course placing in the top three earns 100 points; spots 4-10 earn 85 points, followed by 11-25 (70 points), 26-50 (60 points), 51-75 (50 points), 76-100 (40 points), 101-150 (30 points), 151-200 (20 points), 201-250 (10 points), 251+ (0 points). Any course that received a "remove from ballot" vote has 10 points deducted. The results at the top were remarkably similar to 2005, with Pine Valley, Cypress Point, St. Andrews' Old Course and Augusta National keeping their 1-4 spots.

Does anyone understand this balloting system. Help me here!

This was interesting:

Our rankings are guided by our panel, whose 100 members represent 15 countries. The men and women who cast their votes include major-championship winners, Ryder Cup players, architects, leading amateurs, journalists and a cadre of nearly a dozen course connoisseurs who've had the doggedness to play all Top 100 Courses in the World.

To keep it fair, course architects and course owners on the committee can't vote on their own properties. In the end, the opinions of our staff editors are factored in as well.

So we trust the panel to figure out a great course, but we re-jig the final tally as we see fit. Well, at least they're honest about.

Now, that doesn't explain how Torrey Pines-South is still on the list.


Could The Record Fall At St. Andrews In 2010?

When I saw the premise I thought Ron Sirak was desperate for a Tiger post-PGA column, but he actually makes the interesting point that if Tiger keeps up on this pace, he could be on target for a St. Andrews arrival with 18 majors in his pocket.

Let's say Woods does win two of the next three Masters. That would give him six green jackets, tying the all-time record held by Nicklaus. Let's say Tiger wins two of the next three U.S. Opens. That would give him four, tying the all-time record shared by Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Willie Anderson. And let's say he wins one of the next two PGA Championships. That would give him five, tying the record held by Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.

That means that Woods would go into the 2010 British Open at St. Andrews not only tied with Nicklaus at 18 majors, but also with the exact same breakdown: Six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens and three British Opens. And since Tiger already has Nicklaus beaten in U.S. Amateur titles -- three to two -- it would indisputably make Woods the most dominant golfer in the history of the game.


"That's the ocean, not the bay."

sept_trump2_299x350.jpgLooking pink, bloated and determined to win the What-John-Daly Will-Look-Like-On-The Champions Tour-If-He-Lives-That-Long Contest, The Donald sat down for an all-too-frequent Q&A wth Golf Magazine's Michael Walker to plug his various golf courses and other assorted ventures.

The proverbial Trump L.A. is better than Pebble story is getting even more extravagant...

Q Trump L.A. is better than Pebble Beach! Are you crazy?

A That's what people say until they play my course. I have 3,000 acres and 2.5 miles on the ocean.

And why is that the course is jammed into only 110 acres?

That's the ocean, not the bay.

How could we forget?

Every single hole fronts the ocean. I love Pebble too, but even people who love Pebble say Trump L.A. is superior to Pebble. What Pebble Beach has is history and some day Trump L.A. will have history, though I might not be around to see it.

Oh no it has history Donald. There was that time the 18th hole slid into the ocean and... 

Trump L.A. is also far better than Bandon Dunes [in Oregon]. It's unfair to compare a course in Los Angeles, a great metropolitan area, to one in a wasteland far away from civilization.

LA's no wasteland, that's right Donald. Of course the drive from LAX to Trump National takes about the same amount of time as Portland to Bandon thanks to our traffic, but who cares when you can drive Crenshaw Boulevard!

Q A web site ( published pictures of you playing at your L.A. course and claimed they showed you giving yourself an illegal drop. Did you see that?

Those are fun. Check out the link. He makes Smails look like a regular Bill Campbell